2020 was certainly a year to remember from top to bottom. 2021 has been better (so far) but we’re still feeling the after effect of the year prior and what that means for life and sports in general. That being said, things are looking promising and motivations should be at an all-time high for players that had lost their season or weren’t able to practice and train the way they used to in 2020.
Let’s discuss some topics around what this off-season may look like for players and 3 ways coaches, players, and parents can maximize this off-season.
1. Play Live Games (safely, Of Course)
Last off-season was definitely challenging as there were virtually no spring/AAU games played around the country. Things are looking more promising this year as the AAU season and tryouts are starting to begin. Regardless of what league players are playing in or if they are just attending open gyms, it's important to take advantage of playing in live games to stay in shape and improve basketball IQ.
Tryouts can be frustrating for players and especially this year. There have been limits on the number of players in the gym, masks worn at all times, and a lack of transparency and consistency. Clearly, this isn’t the best way to start the off-season but it's something that parents, players and coaches have to deal with. Many players have already gone through tryouts and have been placed on their spring AAU team.
Outside of tryouts, players may be frustrated with the team they make or don’t make this off-season. Coaches/parents: If you have players that feel this way, try and understand their frustration. I’m not saying that it should be an excuse, but players haven't had the same access to gyms, space, technology, and direction as in the past. These feelings are often legitimate and the solution is to help motivate players and let them know that this is just a small speed bump they hit in a very long race. With time, they will overcome and be stronger mentally and physically because of it.
At the end of the day, it's important for players to embrace and be grateful for any live practice and games (1 vs 1, 3 on 3, 5 on 5) they get to play this off-season.
2. RE-gain Motivation
For most athletes sitting out, missing practices, games, events, and the social interaction from sport should be enough motivation to kick things into full gear this off-season. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are some players that feel like their speed bump is insurmountable and they have fallen too far behind to ever catch up. These players will need added motivation, support, and direction from coaches and parents.
Start by challenging players with fun drills that increases their competitive spirit. Even a simple game of PIG or a Free Throw competition can re-kickstart a player's love for the game. This leads to confidence and players will naturally feel more comfortable competing against others.
With competition comes success and motivation in a variety of ways which will then lead to more commitment to getting better. Coaches and parents: I urge you to help get your players get going and allow them to take the wheel when they are ready. Remember, everyone has been through a tough year and the more support they have the easier the transition back to normalcy will be.
Need extra motivation this off-season? We designed our FREE Endless Motivation Guide for players and coaches to take advantage of.
3. Dominate Individual Skills Training
All over the country players have lacked the resources at times to train the way they are accustomed to. But if players want to separate themselves they MUST maximize their individual skills training on a daily basis - either at home, at a local gym, or park.
Below is a recent Instagram post that was very well received by our followers and audience. With so much to work on, players can get overwhelmed, but developing and sticking to a training routine can do wonders for skill development. Even adding a simple theme of the day like "Handles Friday" or "500 reps Wednesday" will help players separate from those who simply "shoot around every once a while" as their primary workout.
We’ve tried our best here at Dr. Dish to provide coaches, parents, and players the resources they need to get better everyday and also maximize any situation they may be in. More coaches are giving players access to their schools Dr. Dish Shooting machine(s) and more parents are purchasing the more affordable Dr. Dish Home shooting machines for their players. Not only does this help players accelerate and increase their skill level, it also helps provide players with training similar to the one-on-one training they've had in the past.
Our shooting machines hold players accountable while also making training fun and competitive. For parents and coaches looking to accelerate their team or player's success, I recommend checking out our machines to see how they can benefit you. Remember that any coach, trainer, or parent reading this has the opportunity to help a young person out. For more info on skills and drills make sure to check us out and like I always say make sure to train hard, train smart and train with a purpose!
Are you looking to level up your off-season training? Check out all of our Dr. Dish shooting machine models below.